Beetroot, Goat Cheese Hazelnut Tart

Beets are so incredibly healthy, and one of my favorite root vegetables. Just 3 baby beets equals one serving of your 5 vegetables and fruits you should have a day. They are also so versatile in cooking, and I love them in this Beetroot Goat Cheese and Hazelnut Tart. This recipe is very simple to prepare, and it makes a show-stopping appetizer or side dish. It’s perfect for holiday season entertaining. Check out LoveBeets which are ready-to-eat, cooked beets. You can find them in your local grocery such as Whole Foods Market. They make life so much easier, and they taste so fresh.

Here are just a few of their powerful health benefits.

1. Beets are one of the richest sources of folic acid essential for normal tissue growth.

2. Research has showed that beets can help lower blood pressure and blood sugar.

3. Beets have been said to lessen chances of skin and lung cancer.

4. The high iron content in beets helps fight fatigue and anemia.

5. Beets contain high amounts of Boron which is related to production of human sex hormones, thus increasing sex drive. 

Virginia Willis New Cookbook Giveaway & Winter Greens and Butternut Squash Gratin Recipe

I was fortunate to meet Virginia Wills several years ago, and I had the pleasure and honor to co-speak with her last year at Food Blog South. Last fall, I attended an event in Atlanta where she previewed some of her recipes for her new book, “From Basic to Brilliant”. I couldn’t wait for it to be released. Virginia is a graduate of  L’Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine LaVarenne and, previously, was the Kitchen Director for Martha Stewart Living. Virginia expands on her incredible style in this 150 recipe cookbook where she offers incredible preparation and presentation techniques (her writing is amazing too). This recipe for Winter Greens and Butternut Squash Gratin is just one of the many stellar recipes in this book. I served it to company this weekend on a cold evening, and I received rave reviews. Her amazingly beautiful photos were taken by Helene Dujardin of Tartlette. “From Basic to Brilliant” can be found at Amazon or any of your favorite online stores as well as bookstores nationwide.

For a chance to win a copy, leave me a comment telling me why you want a copy of this book. Winner will be drawn on Thursday, November 10th and must be a U.S resident. For more chances, leave as many comments as you like telling me that you did the following:

1. Follow Alison Lewis on Twitter

2. Like Ingredients, Inc on Facebook

3. Follow Virginia Willis on Twitter

4. Like Virginia Willis on Facebook

 

“Reprinted with permission from Basic to Brilliant, Y’all: 150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Company by Virginia Willis, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.”

Photo credit: Helene Dujardin © 2011

Apple Praline Bundt Cake

When I saw the cover of Southern Living Magazine last month, I knew this very special Apple Bundt Cake with Praline Frosting had to be on my dessert table for the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah. Thanks to my sister, Julie and her friend, Toby, my wish came true. This recipe rocks! What else can I really say? The entire issue of the magazine really does. So many recipes, so little time….I hope if you’re looking for a sinfully gorgeous Apple Cake to make, you’ll choose this one with Southern Flair (my kids loved the Praline Frosting). Happy New Year to those celebrating (and those who aren’t :)).

Any Occasion Chocolate Cupcakes

This is not one of my typical “lightened-up” recipes, but I had to share these Any Occasion Chocolate Cupcakes with you. My daughter, Leigh, made this recipe for me the night I arrived home from being in Italy for a week. I was so excited to come home to my family and true comfort food. These are so spectacular. You don’t even need to make homemade icing. I wanted to post the recipe for Father’s Day, but I was traveling again this past week. I realized that this recipe is perfect for so many occasions: Father’s Day, birthdays, parties, showers or just because. I thought they would be a great way to start off the week so enjoy.

Pomegranate Margarita

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My friend, Steven, called last night and said he was having relatives in Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  He asked me for a food favor. He said they were preparing a Mexican-themed menu, and asked me to help him with a recipe for a Pomegranate Margarita which was highly requested by his wife, Bridget. I thought this sounded like a really nice idea since many of us will be entertaining family and friends next week. This recipe has the right mix of tequila, Triple Sec and pomegranate juice. I just recommend using my ultimately favorite “Patron Silver” for the tequila.


Pomegranate Margarita

Prep: 5 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

Lime wedges 

Salt or sugar for the rim

Ice

8 ounces white tequila

4 ounces Triple Sec

1 cup pomegranate juice

2 limes, juiced (optional)

1/2 cup club soda

Directions

1. Pour salt or sugar onto a plate or shallow dish. With a lime wedge rub along the rim of a glass and dip glasses upside down to salt the rim. Fill glasses with ice. In a cocktail shaker with ice place the tequila, triple sec, pomegranate juice, and lime juice. Pour into the salt-rimmed glasses and top off with club soda. Garnish with a lime wedges, if desired.

For tequila, see www.patronspirits.com